Age and Subtle Cognitive Impairment Are Associated With Long-term Olfactory Dysfunction After COVID-19 Infection

Viviana Cristillo MD; Andrea Pilotto MD; Stefano Cotti Piccinelli MD; Nicola Zoppi MD; Giulio Bonzi MSc; Stefano Gipponi MD; Davide Sattin Psy; Silvia Schiavolin Psy; Alberto Raggi Psy; Michela Bezzi MD; Matilde Leonardi MD; Alessandro Padovani MD, PhD;


J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021;69(10):2778-2780. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, has been widely associated with extra-pulmonary manifestations, including a broad range of neurological symptoms.[1]

Olfactory and taste disorders have been consistently reported as common nonrespiratory symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection, although the persistence of neurosensory dysfunctions is still a theme of debate.[2] Age and premorbid health status might play a major role in modulating the vulnerability to long-term olfactory recovery after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Indeed, the prevalence of olfactory dysfunction increases in normal aging but has also been associated with several age-related neurodegenerative conditions.[3]

In this study, we thus evaluated the prevalence and predictors of olfactory dysfunction in a consecutive series of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 and its potential association with features or symptoms suggestive for long-term neurological involvement.